By Lori Brown
FALLSBURG The Fallsburg Comets hosted the Tuxedo Tornadoes on Thursday afternoon in a non-league baseball game.
Tuxedo grabbed an early lead and went on to register a 9-2 victory.
With the win, Tuxedo improved its record to 7-2 this season. Fallsburg dropped to 1-8 on the spring.
The Comets got off to a good start, however, as they held the Tornadoes scoreless in the top of the first inning. Comets’ pitcher Colin Whitaker struck out two batters and catcher Jim Berthloff threw out a runner who was attempting to steal second base.
The Tornadoes returned the favor by holding the Comets off the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning.
In the top of the second, Tuxedo’s Marc Poliey earned a RBI as he slammed a double to right center field which brought home teammate Brandon Zukowski.
Tuxedo pitcher Peter Prall struck out two batters in the bottom of the second to help his team retain its 1-0 lead.
Tuxedo added a run in the top of the third as Fallsburg committed a couple of errors. Ryan Buckley had a single to start the inning. Willy Ostrowski came up to the plate and hit a sacrifice bunt. Buckley safely made it to second base and third base on the bunt. He then continued home due to an overthrow at third to push the Tornadoes’ advantage to 2-0.
The Comets made two more errors in the inning, but Tuxedo was unable to score because of them.
Tuxedo pushed its lead to 5-0 in the top of the fourth. With bases loaded and no outs, Buckley hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Poliey. Joe MacNamee then doubled to score Joe Meekins. Ostrowski was safe at first due to an error and Billy Brunner crossed home plate on the play.
At that point, Fallsburg Coach Mike Weiner decided to bring in relief pitcher Dan Seletsky and move Colin Whitaker to first base. Seletsky struck out the next batter he faced and walked the next one to load the bases with two outs. He then struck out the next batter to end the frame.
Fallsburg’s Sam Ingber singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth, but he was forced out at second base when Mike Melko bunted.
After another out had been recorded, Greg Simpson slammed a home run over the fence to bring the Comets within three runs at 5-2.
The Tornadoes almost doubled their score in the top of the sixth. With the bases loaded and only one out, Brandon Zukowski slammed a single right up the third-base line to score both Buckley and MacNamee.
Prall was next batter and he promptly smacked a double to left center field, which allowed John Collins to cross home plate.
Ryan Beety, who came into hit for Poliey, reached base on a fielder’s choice as Fallsburg threw home to try and get Zukowski. But he was safe, which allowed Tuxedo to push its advantage to 9-2.
With bases loaded and one out, Seletsky pitched out of further trouble with a strikeout and fly out to end the inning.
Tuxedo’s relief pitcher, Collins, entered the game in the bottom of the sixth. He struck out two batters in holding the Comets scoreless in the inning.
Collins also did not give up any runs in the bottom of the seventh.
“Pitcher Peter Prall only gave up one hit in five innings and had three strikeouts,” Tuxedo Coach Marco Margotta said.
Prall, a junior, threw only 41 pitches in those five innings to break a personal record.
“Defensively, we made plays in the field when we had to,” Margotta said. “We also manufactured runs when we needed to. We did some bunting instead of getting big hits.”
“I felt good today,” Prall said. “I was spotting pitches and broke my record for the least amount of pitches in the first first innings.” “Catcher Brandon Zukowski was good today and he threw out players. He had my back.”
Fallsburg’s Coach Mike Weiner said, “Starting pitcher Colin Whitaker didn’t get support from the team.
“There were tons of errors and it was very frustrating, he continued.
Weiner noted that relief pitcher, Dan Seletsky, who recorded four strikeouts, “did very well.
“Greg Simpson gave us some hope in the fourth inning with a nice shot, a two-run home run,” Weiner commented. “The errors really hurt. Our hitting was not up to par.
“We were missing a few kids today, as starter Matt Seletsky was ill and some others were hurt,” Weiner concluded.